I have a student who regularly tells me I'm old.
Before you start planning his funeral, know that 1. he does it to be funny; 2. it's a mutual thing between us (I don't tell him he's old, because I can't. But I do have my own fair share of comebacks.); 3. he's one of my very favorite students.
Despite the "jokey" nature of these exchanges, I would be lying if I told you they never bothered me. As my BigBro likes to remind me when it comes to teasing about age, "It bothers you more than it bothers me."
It's really not the age that bothers me. I'm 31. I don't feel 31. I don't think I look 31. (The Wii probably thinks I'm 60, so no help there.) But there was something specific I had pictured for this age--a bit of expectation if you will.
I don't want to lie. There are no pretty conclusions to tie up in a pretty bow with this post. There's just this longing to experience. By 31, I thought my experience would be a bit more broad. Instead, there's me: constantly changing directions, never quite knowing what it looks like, never completely comfortable with the status quo. Me. Making circles in the sand.
Case-in-point? I love teaching. But I didn't even pursue my degree in English until I was 25. In college, I pursued broadcast journalism, not because I wanted it, but because I thought that was the talent I had. When the wind changed, I switched to Advertising, moved to U of I and almost hyperventilated because of the change.
See? I long for change--for experience--and then I freak out and hide from it. This is why aging scares me. Thirty-one has no particular significance. Just a reminder that I'm not as young as I once was, and in another blink, I'll be 50.
But what I wonder is what is the one thing you really want to experience right now? At this age, at this time, what did you really want for yourself? I truly want to hear from you. I'll save mine for another post.